11 Minutes Of Dead Island Footage

By Quintin Smith on May 23rd, 2011 at 11:24 am.

Zombies: Full of strawberry jam, it turns out

There are three reasons to like this extremely long video of Dead Island. The first is that it showcases what’s starting to look like quite the fast-paced action RPG, full of numbers going up and luxurious vistas. Beautiful. The second reason is that there’s a bit where the protagonist throws a baseball bat at a propane canister and it explodes instantly. Amazing. The third is that it mentions Dead Island will support four player co-op throughout the whole story. Strong!

…then again, I’m sure lots of you will take these points as reasons to dislike it. In a case of some serious false advertising, if you were expecting something bleak and horrific, you certainly won’t be finding it here after all.

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128 Comments »

  1. Teddy Leach says:

    I’ve been waiting for something like this. Looks fun as hell. Do want.

  2. Baris345 says:

    Dear lord that kick animation is offputting. Watching the video with Crazy Train instead of the dev or whoever talking made it pretty fun though.

    I can’t figure out one thing though: is the game linear or free-roam?

    • Gnoupi says:

      I would say that all self animations are quite awful for now, the arm when hitting with the bat, for example. But the kick is really the most terrible.

      I hope this will be improved, because it’s really a bad contrast with the beautiful environment.

    • RagingLion says:

      I seems like a Far Cry 2 structure to me of free-roam open-world but with a possibly linear story to give a focal point and also individual elements like different groups at safe houses and that you meet elsewhere creating some emergent story.

    • Kerbobotat says:

      @Raging Liion; I agree…mike, if thats you.

    • Rii says:

      I’m not sure it’s possible to make a good first-person kicking animation.

    • Indefinable Nigel says:

      I thought Dark Messiah had decent kick/arm animations. Not sure how well they hold up these days (been a while since I played it) but I at least remember feeling like it was plausible that the limbs I was seeing were my own.

      I literally flinched the first time I saw the kick in this video. It just does not seem natural (and for that matter, nor do any of the other limb animations). Here’s hoping they plan on tweaking them some before launch though.

    • Dhatz says:

      I dont remember if FEAR had believable kicking anims(but the instaragdoll deaths were stupid), but it sure was useful.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Rii – the bulletstorm one doesn’t look too ridiculous, and has a good “feel”, for example.

  3. Huygens says:

    Indeed, I thought we were heading for a bleak, survival/horror game, not a 4-player co-op shooter, with targets shaped like zombies. Disappointing news.

    • TariqOne says:

      Oddly, too. Considering they’ve been touting it as 4-player survival co-op since the publicity began.

      Waiter, this hamburger tastes suspiciously of beef!

    • poop says:

      did you really get “4 player Co op shooter” from that first trailer unless you are teh most pessimistic person alive

    • Baris345 says:

      Yeah, I’d count those trailers under false advertising. As bad as Dragon Age: Origins in its deception even. Not nearly as hamfisted however.

    • TariqOne says:

      No. I got 4-player co-op from the first 20 times they said it.

      You pessimists are the ones inserting “shooter.” They’ve also gone on about it being melee heavy, with a crafting focus, quest structure, light RPG elements, and an open world. In the video the player accepts a quest from a questgiver, crafts a melee weapon, drives a car somewhere, fights with his/her crafted weapon until it degrades, etc. It couldn’t be any MORE like they’ve been describing, to be honest.

      It’s not my fault if anyone watched the initial trailer, fell asleep dreaming dreams of their dream game, and only just now woke up. This is precisely the game they’ve described.

      Whether it’s a game you want is quite another story.

    • Creeping Death says:

      “Considering they’ve been touting it as 4-player survival co-op since the publicity began”

      If you mean that first trailer then you have no idea how long some of us have been waiting for this game. The devs were talking about it since 07, and did a very good job of portraying a bleak survival horror, use whatever you can get your hands on style of gameplay.

      Now it seems it’s just Left4Dead, which I was personally sick of before Left4Dead2 even came out :/

    • Baris345 says:

      “Some hoping for a pure survival thriller may be disappointed to learn that by the end of the game you’ll be a “zombie killing machine”. But they promise it won’t be wacky, and real-world restrictions will liomit your abilities, which is great news.”

      Real world restrictions, not wacky.

      >Blow up gas tank by throwing baseball bat at it.

      You’re right, we’re idiots. This is exactly what they said it would be.

    • poop says:

      sorry for getting an impression of a game based on the major publicised trailer that was the talk of the internet for like a day.

    • TariqOne says:

      I also wasn’t stunned when Borderlands was released with cel-shaded, cartoony graphics, and looked nothing like what years of realistic, girtty screenshots and trailers augured. But then again I and a lot of people interested in this tripe tend to read up on games as information is released and therefore saw that one coming.

      Whatever they were saying in 2007, and I don’t recall much concrete beyond limited ammo, crafting, and an island locale, there have been screenshots and multiple articles on this for many months now. Ammo is in short supply and guns are used sparingly. 4-player co-op. Open world, quest-giver structure. One of the lead guys is a famous rapper, two others are women. You’ll have to craft melee weapons and they will break. Cooperation and cobbling together items and weapons will be key. Bright tropical colors. There will be human factions and some will be unfriendly. Literally nothing concrete out there on this is contradicted by this footage (which I don’t find terribly “wacky” either, but hey).

      I’ve got no dog in the fight. I’m personally waiting for Dead State. It’s been clear to me for some time this wasn’t the droid I’m looking for. I’m just a little surprised at this whole oh-my-gawrsh-this-is-a-false-advertising-shocker attitude. It’s so totally American: I’m a payin’ customer, darn it! This trailer is fully in keeping with what’s been said.

    • poop says:

      im not really shocked at false advertising so much as dissapointed that my percieved AAA bleak desperate zombie survival game has joined the shambling ranks of whacky generic post-l4d zombie shooters

    • TariqOne says:

      If Dead State goes generic-belly-up, I’ll join that lament.

      I’ll still buy this because it’s coop and open and slightly RPGish and my ladyfriend can play as a lady. All good things. Then again, I bought L4D2 and enjoyed it.

    • Huygens says:

      Just to clarify my position, since my post was used as the start of this debate:

      I hadn’t followed the development of this game much. I remember that excellent trailer and some info (iirc in the form of a dev diary video) that had led me to believe this was going to be a survival/horror game, more akin to Bioshock, perhaps. That was my understanding, at least.

      Anyway, had I found out earlier that the game is another take at Left4Dead, I would have been disappointed earlier, that’s all. I found out now, so it’s disappointing now.

    • J-snukk says:

      Well, let’s be honest, the atmosphere isn’t as bleak and survivally as it seemed at first it would be, but it’s hardly l4d, the combat shown in this video still looks relatively slow pace and tactical (again stressing the relatively), as opposed to a good survival horror it now looks like a good action RPG, whereas L4D is a good competitive FPS. Still, the propane tank blowing up was rediculous.

  4. Reverend Speed says:

    Fearsome combat bikini.

  5. Marshall Stele says:

    This feels a lot like Far Cry 2.

    I hated that game, but other people loved it so maybe they will love this too?

    • Fwiffo says:

      I loved Far Cry 2. I think I will like this at the very least.

    • Bedeage says:

      It looks nothing like FarCry 2, if anything it has much more in common with Borderlands – the mock-RPG weapon names, visible damage etc – and Dead Rising’s custom weapons.

    • 8-bit says:

      I was actually thinking the same thing, borderlands meets dead rising but with some farcry1/crysis influence for the setting.

    • Baboonanza says:

      It’s the world design that reminds me of Far Cry. The outside shot of the life-guard station really reminded me of small lab location in FC.

      The rest of the game – not so much.

    • bob_d says:

      @ Bedeage: Yeah, like Borderlands, they have the whole Diablo-style weapon generation system: (blank) weapon of (blank) where each blank is a different type of damage. Seems weird for a game that’s trying to be rooted in the real world as much as possible (zombies notwithstanding, of course).

  6. mlaskus says:

    I like how… hmm, kinetic the hitting stuff with a baseball bat seems to be.

  7. Crimsoneer says:

    That combat looks amazingly unscary considering you’re fighting zombies.

    • subedii says:

      Zombies haven’t been scary for a long… looong time.

      At least not in and of themselves. In general it’s not the monsters themselves that scare people, it’s the setting and direction that do that. For the most part even the most ordinary things in the world can seem utterly sinister, it’s just a matter of implementation.

      This game doesn’t appear to be going for those kinds of scares really, any more than Left 4 Dead ever was.

    • TariqOne says:

      Even in the broader zombie canon, zombies are rarely the scariest part. It’s almost always the other people and how they react to the breakdown of social order that screws the protagonist over. Zombies generally just grease the wheels of the more compelling human drama at the forefront.

    • subedii says:

      Yeah when it’s not played for parody pretty much the whole zombie sub-genre boils down to “Humans are the Real Monsters”.

      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3069404/the_scary_door_3/

    • TariqOne says:

      Also it turns out we’re really in a Martian zoo.

  8. The Pink Ninja says:

    Way like way like Way like way like Way like way like Way like way like Way like way like

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

  9. mda says:

    Thx! Anywhere to watch this in lower quality? My internet is terrible :<

    Edit – was able to watch in SD via kotaku: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/05/over-ten-minutes-of-dead-island-footage-wont-eat-your-brains/

    Sorry if i just couldn’t figure out how to do it on this article, I might be a bit stupid.

  10. Jetsetlemming says:

    My impression from that video: Dead Rising meets Xenus 2, with all the jank that implies.

    • Jetsetlemming says:

      And oh GROAN those challenge titles. In the game for that awesome cinematic kid zombie trailer there are challenges called “Someone Set Us Up The Bomb” and “YA RLY”. Christ.

  11. Moni says:

    I was expecting a fast paced, co-op, Left 4 Dead like, zombie blaster with lots of guns. I’m disappointed that it looks vaguely like a slightly barmy, Dead Rising like, loosely structured, roam ‘em up.

    It clearly doesn’t live up to it’s trailer which had like slow motion and music.

    • Blaq says:

      Well played, Sir!

      Personally, the gameplay that can be seen from the trailer is what I expected. Maybe a bit more survival-like, with more zombies and with getting around the island being real struggle, but that can be tweaked I guess.

      I love attention to detail. Fending of a zombie that’s all over you by punching him in the head, knocking out the broken windshield, the propane tank exploding, stuff like that. And I love how not every NPC is a beautiful, perfect human being. Too many developers don’t realise how much immersion is destroyed if you’re playing a barbie game.

      Contemporary Fallout with zombies. Me like.

    • papabear says:

      “And I love how not every NPC is a beautiful, perfect human being. Too many developers don’t realise how much immersion is destroyed if you’re playing a barbie game.”

      Tropical climate. It makes people hot.

  12. CMaster says:

    Wow, that actually looks really good.
    I mean, it’s obviously not the emotion-and low key driven game that the initial trailer suggested (although I have to say I found that trailer pretty “meh”, other than the fact that is basically showed the player losing for a change). Instead, we get a very good lucking, potentially epic free-roaming RPG/shooter. Although the acheivement pop ups were pretty intrusive and horrible.

  13. DecsterB says:

    Kinda has a Borderlands with zombies vibe to it.

  14. Longrat says:

    I know that by this point yawning on zambie games has become a yawnworthy action, and yet..
    YAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWN

    Nevertheless, the game looks pretty great. I wish they’d have taken a different approach. Dismembering intergalactic super brain slugs in a vacation space station near andromeda sounds so much more enticing than zambies

  15. grasskit says:

    was it just me or there was no dismemberment ?

    • Quintin Smith says:

      When he first gets a meat cleaver he goes dismemberment-crazy for a bit.

    • origo says:

      Zombies in older movies were scary, because they kept going at you no matter what you did to them.
      This one (i guess, other similar games too) makes it feel easy.
      And speaking of chopping off limbs, when studying medicine, i had experience of cutting up corpses into smaller pieces for incineration. No cleavers, no katanas, no chainsaws were given. And you know, its quite hard to chop off a limb or head, even when corpse is not fighting back. If you dont use joint weaknesses, it takes forever.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It looked to me as though if you don’t take off or smash their heads, they may rise up again later. Pure speculation mind.

  16. Iokanaan says:

    I got the idea it’s open world.
    i also think it looks like an infested far cry 2. there doesn’t seem to be any innovation at all: a tropical island setting, standard zombie types, (non-)interaction with NPC’s who look even more apathetic than the infected ones. as far as I can see, the bikini’s are the only exception. and the broken wind shield bash animation, which is probably preprogrammed.

    • Richard Beer says:

      You mean Far Cry, not Far Cry 2, which everybody loved and in which I spent hours pootling about in a boat wishing I was on holiday.

      However your point is valid. They’ve taken out the raw horror and inserted zany fun. Which may have been what they had in mind all along, but wasn’t what that amazing trailer implied.

  17. Maykael says:

    Open world melee Left 4 Dead. Ok. That’s cool. Not what I expected, but that’s ok…

  18. Ertard says:

    Please for the love of everything let this be the console version. After resting my eyes on The Witcher 2 for a few days I feel like someone threw a few handfuls of sand in my eyes.

    Also, where’s the survival horror? This looks like a more polished and console oriented Boiling Point, with zombies.

  19. adonf says:

    I liked the augmented-reality-like interface, with icons on top of 3D objects (doors and stuff).

    This project seems very ambitious, I hope they’ll be able to polish it as much as it need to and that the publisher will not force them to release an unfinished game.

    I still don’t get why people care about zombies, though.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I know we see a lot of zombies nowadays, but I really do like them as an enemy. They’re one of those baddies that I never find boring.

    • Iokanaan says:

      concerning that: the recent (?) popularity of zombies in games is something I find intrigueing. I myself don’t really like the cheap scares and button bashing they often imply, but I can imagine that those mindless enemies running around predictably, causing the player to be able to perfectly time every hit, are one of the types of adversary most satisfyingly and entertaining to kill.

  20. Pemptus says:

    Eh. I liked it better when it was all in early production and described as a desperate survival horror. But wacky zombie slashers with HORRIBLE ACHIEVEMENT NAMES POPPING UP ON THE SCREEN EVERY 2 MINUTES seem to be all the rage these days. Could still be fun, just not what I was expecting.

  21. Baboonanza says:

    There is also something really odd about the lighting, it’s partly the shadows but there’s something else too. It’s almost like everything that’s supposed to be in direct sunlight is just too dark and then the shadows are even darker, like they have their Ambient component set to 0. It’s very off-putting.

  22. HexagonalBolts says:

    As much as this interests me, please tell me this wasn’t the game with the beautiful thoughtful slow motion trailer?

  23. Nero says:

    No sir, I don’t like it.

  24. jezternz says:

    Original trailer looked incredible, kind of told a story, and you felt like you could understand what the people were going through. This new video of gameplay has 0 emotion and 0 passion.

    To be honest this clip has put me off a bit. Doesn’t look like it really has much depth and is kinda gross to see that much limb and blood chopping up people.

    I don’t know if Australia will be getting a version if they keep that much gore.

  25. Richard Beer says:

    I think this is going to be a lot of fun.

    There is no question, however, that the original teaser trailer was for a different game. That was haunting, beautiful and horrifying all at the same time. The game itself looks like being fun, beautiful and satisfying.

    It’s kind of a shame, as I think there’s a real gap in the market for the first type, but I’m still looking forward to this, albeit with different parts of my brain.

  26. magnus says:

    25-35 hours gameplay like the video? I’m sold!

  27. Moni says:

    I think someone should go to jail for the clear false advertisement of the announcement trailer, which was probably made by a third-party, that tried to create an engaging narrative from an, essentially, plotless game.

    • ulix says:

      Interesting how from a gameplay presentation, that doesn’t want to show you any of the plot (but instead implies something like: “Choose who to ally with, and thus craft your own narrative.”), but is heavily gameplay-focused, you can deduce that there is no narrative element in the game.

      Even Sherlock Holmes would be jelous.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I guess it’s possible you could try to script some deep compelling story through the sort of game that’s being played in the video up there, but what would be the point? I might like playing an arcade-style points-and-achievements blood romp, and I might enjoy a serious survival horror game, but I’m not interested in playing them at the same time.

  28. Symbul says:

    Looks like a fun game. I’m pleasantly surprised.

  29. poop says:

    cool to see a really nice n visceral close combat fps get wasted on what is probably the second most overused game setting

    • Kaira- says:

      I don’t recall many games having setting of tropical paradise island filled with zombies.

    • poop says:

      you know what i mean, dude

    • AndrewC says:

      Nope, no idea what you mean. Could you explain?

      Edit: oh wait, you mean the zombies, Not the tropical resort, right?

      Well, would you like your dismemberment action to be taken out on real alive humans? Part of the point of aliens/demons/zombies is its OK to dehumanise them, coz they aren’t humans (warning: game are speciesist). If you do want up close real-human dismemberment, zombies are the closest you’ll get without making your psychosis too obvious.

      It also helps to remember what a miserable, depressing experience Condemned was.

    • papabear says:

      Actually, after filling a tropical island with zombies there will be not many setting ideas left.

      I’m still up for a Zombies vs. Pokemans game.

    • poop says:

      how about: cool first person combat, a setting that doesnt involve zombies ;)

      honestly I just want another dark messiah, or zeno clash

  30. Buttless Boy says:

    This is massively disappointing. If I want to run around chopping off limbs in an open environment filled with immensely stupid jokes, I’ll play Postal 2.

    I mean, I’ll play Postal 2 anyway, because it’s awesome.

  31. Giaddon says:

    L4D meets borderlands? Looks neat! And oh so pretty.

  32. Zogtee says:

    Dead Rising, meet Left 4 Dead. I hope you will be very happy together.

    And yeah, that’s totally how propane tanks work.

  33. Rii says:

    Gosh, look at all that blood.

    Fugly UI mind.

    Registering interest.

  34. outoffeelinsobad says:

    Good to see Rule #1 in there.

  35. Enso says:

    Please, please, please get rid of the finishing blow one liners. I’m glad this is coming out on PC. Maybe then we’ll see some great mods. This is looking decent enough, if rough around the edges, but I really would have liked more of a survival orientated experience.

  36. Metonymy says:

    Always happy to see games that don’t force you to go in one particular direction. CoD / Battlefield / Half life games are the real zombies here.

  37. Kazang says:

    L4D meets Borderlands meets Fallout 3, meh.

  38. DMStern says:

    I bet Rockstar are kicking themselves for not realizing they could have made Manhunt be about zombies and they could have made it much more violent without anyone caring.

  39. Scare Tactics says:

    Looks REALLY nice, however the view bobbing is seriously discomforting. I usually don’t mind view bobbing in games but this one is overdoing it. I hope you can disable it in the options

  40. DigitalSignalX says:

    I’m curious how they’re going to pull off four different classes of people killing zombies with a machete. I mean, I can kinda see a medic class as healer to compliment a melee specialist.. but what would the other two be? Specialty crafter… molotov coctail guy? seems limited if they’re making firearms uber rare.

  41. MrWeed says:

    “When we left (incomprehensible) you looked like… Jesus!”

    I like the dialogues in this game.

  42. squareking says:

    They obviously don’t care for realism. No one can kick like that in heels.

  43. Nick says:

    It looks quite fun, but I do hope you can turn some of the stuff off, like her saying ‘I set you free!’ constantly.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      The guy in the video specifically said they were still working on that bit, and that ear;ly in the game your character would be scared and uncertain, then later, once she’d killed hundreds of zombies, she’d be more confident.

  44. Toby says:

    Looking forward to seeing more of this. Seems like it could be what I wanted Dead Rising 2 to be.

  45. Olivaw says:

    Little disappointed that it’s not the bleak, horrifying survival game that the hype trailer seemed to promise, and the voice acting and writing seem like garbage so far (the names of the achievements made me want to curbstomp the internet).

    But boy, I fucking loved Borderlands, and this just looks like Borderlands but with knives and shit instead of guns.

    I’m A-OK with that!

  46. CMaster says:

    Just to check:
    Is there a general consensus here on RPS that the massive “Acheivement Progress” pop ups are:
    Ugly
    Stupid
    Ruining of any atmosphere the game might have

    Because they talk about the emotional power of paradise defiled and all that, but it falls apart a bit when “Awesome, 50 people hacked up” takes up 25% of the screen seeming constantly in game play.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I see achievements as a self-parody of modern game design. Nearly every feature is designed so you can push a button and receive a sense of accomplishment. Why waste time exploring and experimenting? Quest logs! Fast travel! Go beat up some zombies!

      If we’re looking for games that are designed primarily as immersive, interactive worlds, that ship sailed a long time ago, and the crew were devoured by cannibals.

    • Fumarole says:

      I think they’re fine in action games, which this clearly aims to be. Immersion is already destroyed by the floating damage text and Press B to Talk messages. If it was trying to be a serious RPG I’d much rather them not be there.

    • Mman says:

      “Quest logs! ”

      What the hell, are we really at the point where a standard feature of RPG’s since their birth is supposed to be a sign of “dumbing down” now?

  47. Stochastic says:

    As expected the advertising was disingenuous about the nature of the game, but it nevertheless looks like it could be a another fun, mindless zombie slayer a la Dead Rising. The melee combat looks really meaty and kinetic based on the video, which is of utmost importance in a game this dependent on visceral thrills. Sadly, the shooting seems to be underwhelming, but from the video it sounds like combat is first and foremost going to be melee oriented so that might not be a problem. The island looks really beautiful with good eye candy, and I appreciate that they try and vary things up with weather effects and progressive levels of disarray, but I fear it’ll suffer from location fatigue by the end of the campaign. Tropical islands sure are purty, but I wouldn’t mind some more variety. My biggest concern at the moment is that the gameplay will lack the depth necessary to sustain it for 20+ hours, but I can’t really conclude that based on an 11-minute trailer of the unfinished game.

    Also, uncanny valley much? The characters look like high-res mannequins. Facial animations look far too stiff for me to sympathize with any of the characters. I hope that’s something that can be improved on before release.

  48. Basilicus says:

    Am I the only one here who liked what he saw?

    Looks like the melee is deep and satisfying, even if they do need to polish up some animations and textures. It looks like they’re making the fights require some thought, sending a few zombies at a time and making that a match rather than hording you with dozens a la Left 4 Dead.

    The setting looks amazing and very atmospheric. I hope we get to go up those mountains in the distance.

    I’m not a huge fan of baseball bat propanery either, but 95% of that footage was without guns, in an open world, and involved complex combat mechanics…so why are people complaining about guns, a linear world, and simple combat? It’s almost like they didn’t watch the video before commenting….

  49. Big Murray says:

    There’s so much stuff in there which has made me interested in this game.

    They’ve clearly wanted to focus on making melee combat the main focus, and to do that they needed to make it fun … and that may be the first first-person melee combat I’ve seen in a game which actually looks like great fun. Dropping your melee weapon by accident, throwing it at targets, taking out specific body parts depending on what type of zombie you’re facing, the melee-cooldown … they seem to have really put a lot of thought into the melee-combat design, and I’m sold on that, it looks great. I’m also loving the drivable vehicles and the upgradable weapons.

    My worries are that it reminds me so strongly of Borderlands, which was a game I didn’t like. Four-player co-op doesn’t work for linear, story-driven games; it has to be as satisfying to play solo as it is to play with friends, and in games like this the end result is usually bad for single-player; it’s hard to focus on a good story when you’re focusing on co-op, and I found the story in Borderlands to be almost non-existent. Given the almost complete lack of narrative in that video (though I know it was a gameplay vid) and the poor quality of the writing and voice-acting in it, I’m concerned. And Borderlands on the PC also suffered from being a bad console port, with clunky disconnected controls and poorly optimised graphical options, so I’d hate to see a game set on a tropical island not take advantage of the PC’s abilities.

    This is all judging based on games it reminds me of though, so we’ll see.

  50. Fumarole says:

    Diving Knife of Havoc? Floating damage and experience text? Damn, this game doesn’t look like what I hoped it would be.

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